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Vajra, Chicago, IL

Vajra

4.6
4.6
22 Reviews
$30 and under
Indian

The tastefully adapted Nepalese and Indian cuisine in a contemporary rustic setting:
Vajra is a modern yet simple rendering of age old classic cuisine from the sub-continent; heralded for their rich cultural heritage and penultimate piquancy. First concept by Rice Paper & Company ( RPAC), Vajra aims to stay true to the roots; at the same time, introducing modern iterations of fabled dishes and simplicity of spices masterfully created by Chef Min Thapa combined with expertly crafted cocktails by Jean Banchet nominated head bartender Juanjo Pulgarin.
While understanding that the concept of the perfect marriage of the flavors and aromas can only be afforded by the usage of fresh and local produce, Vajra encourages and effectuates the purveyors that are reputable and honest to their respective trades.
Moreover, Vajra celebrates life with good food and the best people.

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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Indian, Nepalese, Contemporary Indian

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat, Sun 11:30 am–2:30 pm Dinner Mon–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (312) 929-4990

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Min Thapa

  • Catering

    Introducing VAJRA CATERING, providing scrumptious dishes for any private occasion; be it your office meeting, an evening soiree at home or any party at any venue. While tailored and product-driven menu is an emphasis, catering to every host’s individual taste and need to create a perfect occasion is what we are here to help you with. We are available seven days a week for any catering, be it lunch or dinner at any venue.

  • Private party facilities

    The classic and traditionally authentic Nepalese and Indian cuisine is presented in a tasteful way, harboring the essences of freshest and choicest ingredients and best spices available. Please contact us if you need more information about our private events catering. Email us at info@vajrachicago.com

  • Neighborhood

    West Town

  • Cross street

    Chicago and Throop

  • Parking details

    Street Parking Along Chicago Avenue

  • Public transit

    CTA Blue Line Chicago StopCTA Bus Ada or Elizabeth Stops

  • Additional

    Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Menu

The Small Plates

  • Samosa

    whole wheat scone, mashed potatoes, english peas, indian spice mix

    • Vegetable$7.00
    • Goat Keema$8.00
  • Pakora

    Fritters, Chickpea batter, Indian spice mix

    • Onion Bhaji$7.00

      shaved onion, chickpea batter

      • Corn$8.00

        sweet corn, chickpea batter

        • Original Samosa Chaat$8.00

          smashed potato cones, english peas, gujarati sev & papadi, pomegranate, creamed yoghurt, chutneys

          • Chicken Chilli / Paneer Chilli$12.00

            tempura chicken breast / indian paneer cheese, sino-indian garlic chilli sauce, beaten rice

            • First Class Momo: Cha$12.00

              minced goat, savoy cabbage, nepalese spice, charred szechuan - tomato sauce

              • Goat Seekh Kebab$12.00

                farm raised minced goat, red capsicum-makhani coulis, mint, cumin-coriander spice mix, spiced cashew crumble

                The Chef's Plates

                • Paneer Stuffed Capsicum$19.00

                  indian paneer cheese, smashed potatoes, red & green capsicum, charred tomato & cashew sauce

                  • Oyster Mushroom$18.00

                    oyster mushroom, english peas, nepalese spice blend

                    • Classic Butter Chicken$25.00

                      poussin [young bone in chicken], cashew tomato-onion sauce, cumin-coriander

                      • Heritage Goat$25.00

                        farm raised goat, five spice blend, star anise, ginger sliver

                        • Goan Fish Curry$28.00

                          charred faroe islands salmon, goan spice mix, grated coconut, curry leaves, mustard temper

                          • Lobster Malabar Curry$34.00

                            wild caught canadian lobster, cream coconut, tomato sauce, indian spices, cloves

                            • The Goat Steak$30.00

                              farm raised goat steak, spice-mustard oil rub, buttered makhani sauce

                              • Tandoori Venison$34.00

                                roasted denver venison, young papaya rub, buttered makhani

                                The Classics

                                • Cashew Tikka Masala

                                  • Paneer$17.00
                                  • Chicken$19.00
                                  • Lamb$20.00
                                  • Shrimp$21.00
                                • Cashew Shahi Korma

                                  • Vegetables$16.00
                                  • Chicken$19.00
                                  • Lamb$20.00
                                  • Shrimp$21.00
                                • Madras Curry

                                  • Paneer$17.00
                                  • Chicken$19.00
                                  • Lamb$20.00
                                  • Shrimp$21.00
                                • Vindaloo Curry

                                  • Vegetables$16.00
                                  • Chicken$19.00
                                  • Lamb$20.00
                                  • Shrimp$21.00
                                • Creamy Saag Curry

                                  • Paneer$17.00
                                  • Chicken$19.00
                                  • Lamb$20.00
                                  • Shrimp$21.00
                                • Dum Biryani

                                  • Vegetables$17.00
                                  • Chicken$19.00
                                  • Goat$20.00
                                  • Shrimp$21.00

                                The Vegetarian Plates

                                • Alu Gobhi$15.00

                                  potatoes, cauliflower florets

                                  • Bhindi Masala$15.00

                                    sautéed okra

                                    • Paneer Chilli$18.00

                                      paneer cheese cubes, garlic chilli sauce

                                      • Matar Paneer$18.00

                                        paneer cheese cubes, english peas, creamed tomato-onion sauce

                                        • Baingan Bharta$15.00

                                          crushed & roasted eggplant

                                          • Dhingri Matar$15.00

                                            sautéed baby corn, english peas

                                            The Tandoori Plates

                                            • Tandoori Paneer & Kohlrabi$22.00

                                              paneer, kohlrabi, broccoli, capsicum, red onion, potato, cream cheese, spice blend

                                              • Himalayan Grilled Chicken$20.00

                                                free range chicken breast, five-spice blend, mustard oil bath

                                                • Tandoori Chicken Tikka$20.00

                                                  crystal valley farm chicken, yoghurt-spice blend, makhani sauce

                                                  • Tandoori Chicken$27.00

                                                    roasted green circle chicken, mustard oil bath, yoghurt -spice blend, makhani sauce

                                                    • Tandoori Mahi Mahi$28.00

                                                      mahi mahi filets, mustard oil bath, sour cream-spice blend, makhani sauce

                                                      The Side Orders

                                                      • Alu Tama Bodi$8.00

                                                        potatoes, preserved bamboo shoots

                                                        • Dal Makhani$8.00

                                                          black lentil dairy dahl

                                                          • Chana Masala$8.00

                                                            chickpeas, indian spice blend

                                                            • Saag Paneer$9.00

                                                              creamed spinach, paneer cheese

                                                              The Rice and Flatbreads

                                                              • Saffron Rice$6.00

                                                                basmati rice, saffron, cardamom

                                                                • Butter Naan$4.00

                                                                  white flour, egg, milk

                                                                  • Garlic Naan$5.00

                                                                    white flour, egg, milk, garlic rub

                                                                    • Goat Keema Naan$6.00

                                                                      white flour, egg, milk, minced goat

                                                                      • Gruyère Cheese Naan$8.00

                                                                        white flour, egg, milk, gruyere cheese

                                                                        The Accompaniments

                                                                        • Boondi Raita$4.00

                                                                          yoghurt, roasted cumin, chickpea pearls

                                                                          • Cucumber Raita$3.00

                                                                            yoghurt, roasted cumin, mint, cucumber & carrot shreds

                                                                            • Raw Onions$2.00

                                                                              raw onion, jalapeno, lemon

                                                                              • Pickles / Relish$2.00

                                                                                pickled vegetable / sweet mango relish

                                                                                What 22 people are saying

                                                                                Overall ratings and reviews

                                                                                4.6
                                                                                4.6 based on all time ratings
                                                                                • 4.6Food
                                                                                • 4.5Service
                                                                                • 4.4Ambience
                                                                                • 4.2Value

                                                                                NoiseModerate

                                                                                Sort by

                                                                                Filters

                                                                                1. LM

                                                                                  LisaMaria

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  16 reviews

                                                                                  4.0

                                                                                  16 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on March 16, 2020

                                                                                  overall4food5service4ambience5

                                                                                  Cool ambiance, good food and accommodating for larger groups; I gave a 4 based on pricing.

                                                                                2. CA

                                                                                  ChicagoAvenueDiner

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on March 15, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  Vajra is an excellent restaurant. Amid COVID-19 concerns, each party was seated far from anyone else. Everything was handled professionally and hygienically. Servings are large and we took enough to have another meal. I highly recommend!

                                                                                3. JH

                                                                                  JaniceH

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on March 13, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  Outstanding new Indian restaurant. Reminded of the great places in London. Service is top notch and Bupil is truly interested in how customers feel about the quality. Can hardly wait to go back. Must trys are Salmon, Goat Steak, and Saag Pander. We took home an order of Saag. Have fun!!!

                                                                                4. B

                                                                                  Badtaste

                                                                                  New York Area

                                                                                  62 reviews

                                                                                  vip
                                                                                  3.0

                                                                                  62 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on March 12, 2020

                                                                                  overall3food3service3ambience3

                                                                                  Have been hearing about this place for a while and was curious to try, but was disappointed to discover that many of the well-reviewed dishes, like the tandoori duck and the goat momo, are no longer on the menu. What remains is adequate but hardly special. Goat stew and okra side were decent, but Goan seafood curry offered dry, overcooked fish and the opening somosa chaat was bland. Indeed, nothing was especially spicy, including the dishes we’d requested as spicy. Points deducted for the piece of ceramic found in the chaat, the long wait to order, and the nearly unintelligible server. This place may have been special upon opening, but it seems to have dumbed down its offerings to broaden its appeal, which means it’s just another neighborhood Indian place now, but with higher prices and less adequate execution. Skip.

                                                                                5. a

                                                                                  ajax

                                                                                  San Francisco

                                                                                  12 reviews

                                                                                  vip
                                                                                  4.0

                                                                                  12 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on March 9, 2020

                                                                                  overall4food5service4ambience4

                                                                                  We really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. I found a hair in my chick pea curry, and pointed it out. The server took it away and they said they would take it off the bill. It seems that this is a bit more serious than just taking off an unliked dish off the bill. Typically there is an apology and offer of something to make up for the issue. There was none. For this reason, I will not recommend this restaurant to others.

                                                                                6. JC

                                                                                  JennaC

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  23 reviews

                                                                                  vip
                                                                                  4.0

                                                                                  23 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on March 1, 2020

                                                                                  overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                                                  My friends and I went here for brunch this past Sunday. One of my friends is Nepali so we wanted to see if we were getting an authentic experience. While not on the menu, we special requested MoMo since I had never tried them. The kitchen put them in for us and in about 15 they were out. So delicious and my Nepali friend said the sauce was spot on. We also shared the goat skewers, chicken dum biryani, and some garlic naan with tea. While the bulk of the menu focused moreso on Indian cuisine at least for brunch, the service and ambiance was great 👍🏼

                                                                                7. OP

                                                                                  OPfoodie

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  44 reviews

                                                                                  vip
                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  44 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 29, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  We cannot write enough positive remarks about the wonderful dining experience we had recently at Vajra...from the warm welcome at arrival to the innovative mixology, the considerate service and excellent dish preparation, we were hooked...cannot wait to return for more super delicious Nepalese/Indian fare!

                                                                                8. GC

                                                                                  GabrielC

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on February 27, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                                                  Tender lamb dishes.

                                                                                9. AM

                                                                                  AnnM

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                                  3.0

                                                                                  2 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 23, 2020

                                                                                  overall3food2service2ambience3

                                                                                  I went to Vajra shortly after it opened in April 2019 and thought the food was fantastic. It was so fresh, and I reveled in the taste. This trip ten months later did not yield the same results. The food was meh and not as tasty. I asked that tikka masala be made with tofu as I had the last time I was there. The server snipped we don't cook with tofu. The sag paneer wasn't spicy enough and neither was the dahl makhani. The tandoori chicken was dry. Overall, all three of us were unhappy. We wanted that freshness you often don't find in Indian cooking in Chicago. Vajra is off my list.

                                                                                10. OT

                                                                                  OpenTable Diner

                                                                                  Nashville

                                                                                  4 reviews

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  4 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 20, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service3ambience3

                                                                                  Really great food and drinks.... seemed as though they were short staffed that night.. but the food made up for it...

                                                                                11. AN

                                                                                  AllieN

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  7 reviews

                                                                                  vip
                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  7 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 19, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  Everything was delicious and the service was outstanding!

                                                                                12. D

                                                                                  Dominic

                                                                                  Atlanta

                                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                                  3.0

                                                                                  3 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 16, 2020

                                                                                  overall3food4service1ambience3

                                                                                  The food is excellent even though the portions are very small for what you pay. The service I received was completely awful and it ruined my experience at Vajra. I sat without a food menu for 10 minutes after having to request one twice. No refills on water. The waiter brought us the check when done and no dessert was offered even though I was billed for a dessert.

                                                                                13. LA

                                                                                  LeeA

                                                                                  London

                                                                                  4 reviews

                                                                                  3.0

                                                                                  4 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 15, 2020

                                                                                  overall3food4service3ambience3

                                                                                  The food on the whole was very good and well presented. The only disappointing aspect of the meal was that my starter turned up with my main meal. My guest was reluctant to start eating and waited as long as possible, which would have resulted in a stone cold starter. I would go back to Vajra, but as I was visiting from the UK it will not be anytime soon.

                                                                                14. MS

                                                                                  MonikaS

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on February 9, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  Loved the restaurant, definitely want to come back and bring friends and family too

                                                                                15. NV

                                                                                  NancyV

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on February 8, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  If you are looking for authentic India flavors, this restaurant really does it well. Its better than most Indian restaurants in the downtown area. But don't expect healthy or any fusionish items, like I said authentic Indian cuisine.

                                                                                16. OT

                                                                                  OpenTable Diner

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  4 reviews

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  4 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 8, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  Delicious!

                                                                                17. FD

                                                                                  FatenD

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  7 reviews

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  7 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on February 7, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  The food was amazing and had some unique twists. I would recommend the Lobster Curry and the Goat! And the mixologist was accommodating and did a wonderful job!

                                                                                18. NF

                                                                                  NancyF

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on February 2, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  Food service and drinks were all fabulous! Would absolutely recommend.

                                                                                19. TF

                                                                                  TamaraF

                                                                                  Detroit

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  vip
                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on February 1, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                                                  Cocktails and food were amazing!

                                                                                20. DK

                                                                                  DeepakK

                                                                                  Chicago

                                                                                  10 reviews

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  10 reviews

                                                                                  Dined on January 29, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                                                  Amazing menu Very talented chef, nice mix of Indian and unusual Nepalese dishes High quality meats outsourced from local farms Would go back for tasting rest of the dishes

                                                                                21. FK

                                                                                  FabricioK

                                                                                  New York Area

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on January 26, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                                                  One of the best cocktails in the city! We came back because of it and it was amazing again. The servers were phenomenal and the food is spectacular! Try the cheese naan, it’s awesome!

                                                                                22. RM

                                                                                  RuthM

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  5.0

                                                                                  1 review

                                                                                  Dined on January 26, 2020

                                                                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                                                  We went to Vajra to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday. The food was excellent, as was the service. Taylor was knowledgable and attentive, and helped make my daughter's evening extra special

                                                                                FAQs

                                                                                Vajra offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (312) 929-4990.

                                                                                Vajra is rated 4.6 stars by 22 OpenTable diners.

                                                                                Not available on OpenTable

                                                                                Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

                                                                                If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


                                                                                Is this your restaurant?
                                                                                Claim this listing

                                                                                Additional information

                                                                                • Cross street

                                                                                  Chicago and Throop

                                                                                • Neighborhood

                                                                                  West Town

                                                                                • Hours of operation

                                                                                  Brunch Sat, Sun 11:30 am–2:30 pm Dinner Mon–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Mon–Fri 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

                                                                                • Cuisines

                                                                                  Indian, Nepalese, Contemporary Indian

                                                                                • Dining style

                                                                                  Casual Dining

                                                                                • Dress code

                                                                                  Casual Dress

                                                                                • Parking details

                                                                                  Street Parking Along Chicago Avenue

                                                                                • Public transit

                                                                                  CTA Blue Line Chicago StopCTA Bus Ada or Elizabeth Stops

                                                                                • Payment options

                                                                                  AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

                                                                                • Executive chef

                                                                                  Min Thapa

                                                                                • Additional

                                                                                  Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

                                                                                • Phone number

                                                                                  (312) 929-4990

                                                                                • Catering

                                                                                  Introducing VAJRA CATERING, providing scrumptious dishes for any private occasion; be it your office meeting, an evening soiree at home or any party at any venue. While tailored and product-driven menu is an emphasis, catering to every host’s individual taste and need to create a perfect occasion is what we are here to help you with. We are available seven days a week for any catering, be it lunch or dinner at any venue.

                                                                                • Private party facilities

                                                                                  The classic and traditionally authentic Nepalese and Indian cuisine is presented in a tasteful way, harboring the essences of freshest and choicest ingredients and best spices available. Please contact us if you need more information about our private events catering. Email us at info@vajrachicago.com

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